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Four events in one night

Tiny Tim was behind it all

Found myself going to three different places in one night the other night – four if you count one where I dropped the kid off.

It all started at Chelsea Piers; in NYC, if you’re pretty well-heeled, you can throw your kid a party there.

Now, there was a time when I mighta been onea those parents but life, being what it is, I’m definitely not anymore.

Having said that, the kid’s friends with a lotta people that are, so we went to our latest party there the other day.

Now, we’ve been to the gymnasium part, the ice-skating part, and the bowling part…

…but this was the first time that we got invited to the Lazer Tag part.

Well, the kid went to the Lazer Tag part, I just stayed at the bar.

Now, I brought my iPad because I figured I’d just duck out and catch up with some reading – which, let’s face it, is my idea of a good time.

But the other parents were cool and interesting, plus there was an open bar so I ended up just staying the whole time, eating…

…and chatting…

Him: Wait, you went to Stuyvesant and Cornell?
Me: I’m as surprised as you are.

…as well as drinking. Did I mention the open bar? I had two Moscow Mules and a beer.

The kid had a coke and a grand time. We both really enjoyed ourselves as well BUT we had to duck out because the kid had another party to go to – and so did I.

So, I brought him to a school event where he had MORE pizza and watched The Grinch while I dashed off to meet the Firecracker at an office party of hers that was, wildly, less than a block from my pad.

Me: Are you sure you didn’t have anything to do with the location of this party?
Her: Nope! Someone else picked the place and here we are.

This too was an open bar, and I was already three drinks in but opted for a fourth, this time a cider.

I ended up meeting one of her new co-workers who just picked up her marriage license and swung by with her fella.

Me: So, where are you from?
Him: China.
Me: My parents were from Taiwan so I’m guessing we’ll have to step outside and fight. I’ll need another drink first, though.

They were on their way to see a Chrismas Carol and he never saw it so the Firecracker and I teased him for a bit.

Me: OK, pro tip, there are a lotta explosions at the end.
Her: Oh, yes. Just plug your ears when the ghosts start appearing.
Me: It’s crazy when you find out that Tiny Tim was the mastermind behind the whole thing.

He was a really good sport and everyone was super nice.

They all left but the Firecracker and I had to get the kids.

Me: Well, we still have 30 minutes. Wanna grab another drink?
Her: With you? Sure!

So, we made our way to the Emerald Inn, which I told you about once before..

We ended up have some more drinks there before we had to leave to get our kids.

Somewhere along the line, I left my bag and iPad somewhere and that was a pain-in-the-neck adventure I’ll tell you all about next time.

Location: the Dakota Bar, having a drink at the Firecracker’s office party
Mood: tipsy
Music: Feeling Christmas all around and I’m trying to play it cool (Spotify)
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Slurping a norovirus

Three things

The kid’s been loving swimming lately – he just started doing the backstroke and it’s become his fave.

Probably because he can keep his face above water.

But, about a month ago, we had to skip his class – which we almost never do – because he got (what I thought was) food poisoning.

Long story short, had to buy him a completely new mattress and ran my washing machine three or four times before I finally crashed after 2AM on a school night.

Woulda been an all-nighter if not for the Firecracker’s help.

Fast-forward to this past weekend when I was supposed to do alla these things but ended up just staying in bed because I thought I ate something bad.

Me: I shouldn’tve had that can of Dr. Pepper.
Her: I don’t think Dr. Pepper’s gonna make you sick.
Me: Well, it had to have been something.

But I was only sick for about 35 hours. Now the Firecracker’s feeling rough.

Mentioned this to my mother-in-law.

MIL: Oh, it was probably the norovirus.
Me: Norovirus? What makes you think that?
Her: It’s all over the place here and popping up in NYC too.

Turns out, she’s not wrong.

The Firecracker’s still recovering, but after my – pretty gross – 36 hours, I really wanted to have some carbs.

Her: What do you want?
Me: Either pho or ramen.
Her: Oooh, I’d go for some ramen.

Because of my need to avoid carbs, the last time I had ramen in a restaurant was with my brother out in California – although I did make some myself a few years back.

So, we went to a joint that we’d walked by a few times but never went in – Zurutto.

I ordered some ramen for us, plus some dumplings for the kid.

While the kid was practicing his chopsticks…

Son: (growing frustrated with his chopsticks) This is impossible!
Me: Nonsense. Billions of people use chopsticks every day. You just gotta practice.

…the Firecracker and I just chatted.

Her: Ooooh, look those two are on a date.
Me: (whistling) Whoa, hopefully not their first date. Ramen’s tough as a first date spot.
Her: Oh, I know – I went on a first date at a ramen shop once.
Me: How’d it go?
Her: I spent the whole time trying not to slurp. But, of course, you kinda had to.

Found out later that zurutto means to slurp.

There, now you’ve learned three things:

  1. Zurutto means to slurp
  2. My son can do the backstroke
  3. The East Cost is lousy with norovirus

And you thought this was a blog about nuthin.


Location: getting the Firecracker some flowers and some Dr. Pepper on Broadway
Mood: well(ish)
Music: Things are easy when you’re big in Japan (Spotify)
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His First Concert

We’ll see

There’s a band that my kid likes called Kidz Bop – really, it’s just random kids that sing clean covers of current and older pop songs.

While walking past the Beacon Theatre the other day, the kid noticed that they were gonna play in town this month.

Him: Can we go, can we go?!
Me: Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know.
Him: PLEASE!?
Me: We’ll see.

 

I figured that I’d let the Firecracker be the deciding vote. If she and her kid didn’t wanna go, I wasn’t gonna go – the tickets were at least $120 each so it was a pricey gift for them.

Her: I’m not sure [my kid] will wanna go, BUT we can try.
Me: Really?
Her: Sure! This will be the first concert for both of them.

Considering how much fun they had on the Disney cruise – including the live music – I figured we’d be ok.

Once we made it into the theatre, the kid bounded up the steps. He was so excited.

We settled into our seats and I figured that we would have room to stretch out.

Her: Oh, no – this whole thing was sold out pretty quickly.
Me: You’re kidding me.
Her: Nope. Some people really love their kids.
Me: Seems that way.

She was right; the whole joint was packed – there wasn’t an empty seat in the house, including on the main Orchestra level, which I think was going for at least $400 a ticket.

Nuts.

Well, my kid was thrilled; her kid was pretty bored by the whole thing. He’s not really into music but he was definitely a good sport about it all.

But my kid was dancing and singing in the aisles – that’s him in the middle singing his little heart out.

Me? I was a little less enthused.

But, at the end of the day, he had a blast. And I think the Firecracker’s son, while not nearly as interested, enjoyed the next experience.

Him: Aw, why does it have to end?
Me: All good things must end.
Him: Is that true?
Me: Unfortunately, yes. But that’s a good thing, because it makes you value these kinda things.
Him: I guess. (thinking) Can we go again next year?
Me: We’ll see, kid. We’ll see.

Location: My kitchen, making turkey stock
Mood: busy
Music: Last Friday night, yeah, we danced on tabletops (Spotify)
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A night of stupid human tricks

Silver and Gold

Forgot to put up pictures of the cooked purple sweet potatoes (on the left) and the regular purple potatoes (on the right); the sweet potatoes tasted a bit mediciney while the purple regular potato tasted exactly like a regular potato.

I bought a bunch so I’ll keep messing around to see what I might be able to do with them.

The Frenchman invited us to his pad the other night for hot pot.

Me: We’re in! What should we bring?
Him: Awesome. Food-wise, I’m covered.
Me: I can bring an assortment of sticks and knives?

The Firecracker and I brought our respective kids as well, so it was a full house.

The Firecracker never had hot pot until this past summer with my college friends, so I told her that this was a Japanese version of it, which she was excited to try.

Now, the Frenchman is half Japanese so he did a bang-up job with everything, making a hot pot version of Chanko Nabe, which is a special type of Japanese soup that was designed for sumo wrestlers to gain weight.

Her: Wow, that looks so great!
Me: I’m particularly excited for alla the mushrooms.
Her: Me too!

The cool thing that no one realized was that it was the Frenchman’s birthday just a few days later so his wife Tess ended up turning it into a surprise birthday party – the Firecracker and I felt honored that we were invited.

Afterwards, we got to know some of his other guests – some of them, he’s known for over 25 years, which is pretty impressive.

Like that old poem: Make new friends, but keep the old; Those are silver, these are gold.

They’re both in finance so their apartment’s view was full-on gorgeous.

The food was so amazing that we stuffed ourselves silly. At the very least, I did.

Now, I brought a six-pack of beer to go with dinner and the Firecracker brought a bottle of rose. However, considering that I drank five bottles of the six-pack and the Firecracker drank several glasses of wine, we essentially showed up with drinks for ourselves.

It also meant that, after several hours of eating and drinking, I started doing some stupid human tricks.

Now, the Frenchman is super athletic – we met in our gym, after all – and I mentioned that the ability to sit and stand without the use of one’s hands is an indicator of overall health and strength.

Well, we went one step further and did this drill I did in my 20s, which is sitting down, hugging your knees, shooting a foot out, holding that foot/ankle with your hand, and then standing up with one single leg, all while never allowing your held foot to touch the ground.

I had eaten – and drank – waaaaaay too much that night and kept falling down.

Me: Welp, honey, looks like this may be the first and last time we’re ever invited over.
Her: (laughs)

But the very next day, in the park with the Firecracker and our kids, I tried it again and was able to do it every single time – AND I have video proof of it.

I’m sure I’ll find ways to embarrass the boy even more as he gets older.

But more on that in another entry.

 

Location: earlier today, my kid’s gym, watching him get his first coloured belt
Mood: tired
Music: probably with that blonde girl who always made me doubt (Spotify)
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Date night!

A stellar night

Me: I just realized that the kid has a party tonight from 6:30 to 9PM, do you wanna…
Her: Date night!

A few months ago, I got an email from my kid’s school on a Monday that there was a movie night they were having that week. Figured that I had plenty of time for it so I didn’t bother buying a ticket until Thursday but, by then, everything was already sold out.

Had to scramble and write several parents to see if anyone had a spare tix. After a few hours of trying, managed to snag one from my friend Debbie – told myself that the NEXT time the kid’s school was having a party, I’d buy the ticket immediately.

Well, that happened a coupla weeks ago and I totally forgot that the kid had his school party this past Friday.

Turns out, he did too.

Him: There’s a party tonight? Whose birthday is it?
Me: (laughing) It’s not a birthday party, kid. It’s your school.
Him: Really!? Yay!

I happened to already be dressed up in a suit for work, so I dropped off the kid and met up with the Firecracker at a joint I’d never been to before and not far from the kid’s school.

Told her I was in a suit so she showed up dressed to the nines as well.

Me: Whoa!
Her: You like?
Me: Heck, yeah! You look amazeballs!

We stayed there for a while, playing a game of question and answer, but soon…

Me: I’m hungry.
Her: It’s past your (eating) time (for intermittent fasting).
Me: (shrugging) I’m drinking so I’m already breaking it.

Was really in the mood for sushi so we ended up an Asian restaurant not too far from the first bar.

We got more drinks…

…and I got a plate of deep-fried shrimp.

Afterward, we went together to pick up the kid.

Me: I’m still in the mood for sushi.
Her: You want to stop by a restaurant?
Me: Nah, I’ll just pick up some from [the local supermarket].

So, I did just that and ate even more.

When it comes to parenting, that’s what I’d call a stellar night.

Stellar.

 

Location: late this afternoon, the Irish Hunger Memorial
Mood: sore
Music: How I hate to spend the evening on my own (Spotify)
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Playing Blackjack with the kids

A loss for them

It seems that summer’s finally over – it was 80 degrees last week and it dropped down to 40 something this week.

Good thing climate change isn’t real.

Her: What about Spades?
Me: I used to love that game! But it’s been decades since I’ve played; I dunno if I remember how to play.
Her: No problem, because I do!

The Firecracker and I have fallen into a pretty quiet but nice life of a guy and his kid and a girl and her kid.

We’re both pretty happy that the kids get along so well, because if they didn’t, who knows how we’d be right now.

So, the other night, when we had nuthin else going on, we taught the kids how to play Spades and Blackjack.

Boy: Isn’t gambling bad?
Me: We’re not really gambling, we’re just playing cards. And there’s nuthin wrong with playing some cards, kids.

Of course, we still do things separately.

For example, the kid went to a birthday party for a friend that he’s known since he was two. And while there, I ran into a fella I met last year at a Halloween party.

Him: What about you?
Me: Well, I’m a lawyer, among other things. But lately, I’ve been doing a YouTube thing.
Him: (laughing) Really?
Me: Yup – I actually have close to 20 million views on one of my videos.

Speaking of Halloween parties, I’ll tell you about the one we all went to in the next entry, but until then, here was some pics of my buddy Cotton as “Belle” from Beauty and the Beast and his girl as a taco.

These are good life/relationship goals.

Me: Can I put up one of these on my blog as a follow up? I mentioned you would be doing this and I think my five readers would be tickled to see pics.
Him: Yeah, of course!

Although I don’t suppose they’d be welcome in MAGA country.

Which is a loss for them, frankly…

Location: stuck at home all day
Mood: potentially sick
Music: OK, baby, you’ll be OK. You’ve just gotta keep on (Spotify)

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A Week of Birthdays, Pt 4: Tasting like regret

A last birthday and street party

The Firecracker and I thanked Fattah and his friends for the hospitality and got up to leave when two guys recognized me from Scenic Fights and insisted on buying us drinks.

The drinks turned out to be a round of shots.

Me: I think I had…(counting) four drinks? Five?
Her: Same, I think.

It was a gorgeous night, so we took the long walk to train station more suitable for getting home.

She stopped a few times along the way to admire some stores and such.

We just barely managed to catch one train uptown – the next train wasn’t scheduled to arrive until 26 more minutes.

Getting outta the station in the UWS…

Me: What are your thoughts on 1AM pizza?
Her: Yes! Let’s do it.
Me: Dammit, I shoulda had those churros.
Her: Food always tastes better after midnight.
Me: Yes, but in the morning, it tastes like regret.

There was a bottle for ranch that I wanted to put on my pizza but it was empty. I figured it was fate telling me to not go overboard but then the fella behind the counter insisted that I take a new bottle and I ended up dousing my slice with ranch dressing.

Me: I didn’t even know that was an option!

We both crashed pretty hard – I don’t think I woke up until after noon the next day.

Her: I went out, ran, and went shopping. I was gonna break into your room if I didn’t hear from you after I was done shopping.
Me: Blargh. I hate myself.
Her: (laughs)

It was actually her sister’s birthday that day, so I grabbed her sister my favourite bottle of rum, and we went down to go see her.

Along the way, we walked past another street fair but I was still digesting the pizza from the previous night.

Me: God, that was such good pizza.
Her: Nah, you were just drunk. Everything tastes better when you’ve been drinking.

There were actually a couple more birthdays after that, but those stories all belong to someone else.

So here are just some more rando photos of the street fair.

Location: all over NYC and Brooklyn in search of pawpaws
Mood: exhausted
Music: Burning bright in a dark sky (Spotify)

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A Week of Birthdays, Pt 3: The Night of Churros

My old college house and old haunts

The Firecracker had met my college friends a few times before but cappy only once because he couldn’t make several of the last get-togethers.

He and I actually met before we started college – totally randomly – at a party out in Queens when we were seniors in college. Otherwise, there wasn’t really anything interesting that they told Firecracker about me back in the day.

Later, Cappy and Rick told her all about our college house setup.

Her: How many guys were in the house?
Cap: (thinking) 10?
Ricky: We gave Logan the closet.
Me: This is true. And, besides the 10 people that lived in the house, there was always someone in the living room – regardless of time or day – for some strange reason.

She also had a good story to tell him.

Her: I found his stash of snacks the other day.
Him: What?
Her: Logan keeps a box fulla snacks under his bed.
Me: In my defense, they were the backup to my emergency snacks…which she ate!
Her: You shouldn’t have left them with me!

Cappy, and architect and interior designer by trade, took my pen and sketched out our ground floor layout from memory.

It was weird seeing him draw it because I found myself remembering things about living there that I’d not thought of in some 31+ years.

Because I’d had a full basket of bread at the restaurant earlier that evening, I decided to get myself a couplea sweet mixed cocktails.

Her: You can get yourself a girlie drink.
Me: God, I do love myself a girlie drink. Doubt they have any umbrellas.

I did manage some self-control, though. Cappy ordered a ton of churros and other desserts and, as much as I wanted some, I didn’t have any.

Since my kid and the Firecracker’s kid were away, we decided to head downtown to see my buddy Fattah, who’s now a member of our Scenic Fights team.

Along the way, we came across a store that seemed to only sell churros.

Me: Dammit. I shoulda had a churro.
Her: We’ll get something later.

He was working at Verlaine and Pac had literally just ran into him that same night so I decided to see him as well just for a little fun.

Him: LOGAN!
Me: Hey man, how are you?

It was nice seeing him outside of our work. I’d been to Verlaine a few times decades ago with Rain and company. This was the first time I’d been there in at least 20 years, I gotta think.

Fattah got us a killer table and comped us two drinks.

Our waiter, Brian, was a nice young fella with two black eyes and bruises all over his face.

Me: Dude, what did the other guy look like?
Fattah: Guy(s) – he got jumped.

I’m guessing he got beat up purely because of what he was – which is a young gay man. It just boggles the mind that such a thing can happen in this day and age in NYC.

Then again, I suppose there will always be assholes around, regardless of time or geography.

There’s more but this is getting long so I’ll wrap it up in the next entry.

Location: just now, dislocating another finger on my keyboard. I’m a menace to myself.
Mood: menacing
Music: Let’s get rich and build our house on a mountain (Spotify)

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personal

Caught “Merrily We Roll Along”

Not great

Me:
Her:
Me:
Her: That was…
Me: …not great.

The Firecracker invited me to catch Merrily We Roll Along with two of her favourite actors, Daniel Radcliffe and Jonathan Groff.

The singing by both actors – and the cast – was pretty impressive.

And that’s pretty much the best thing I can say about it.

The story itself was pretty bad, plus it went in reverse chronology, which was very annoying and confusing, finally, none of the characters were…good.

Jonathan Groff’s character was a habitual cheater and wholly unreliable.

Daniel Radcliffe’s character was stubborn and inflexible and kind of a scold.

The main female character, played by Lindsay Mendez, had an unrequited love for Groff’s character for some 20 years.

20 years!

You just felt pity for her character. There’s a lot more I wanna say about this part but I suppose I’ll wait for the next entry.

All-in-all, there was no one really worth rooting for, which was the biggest issue. It’s tough watching something for some three hours and just not caring about anyone involved.

Honestly dunno why Radcliffe and Groff even agreed to do it because the musical was panned way back in 1981 when it first came out and alla the issues that people had with it – like telling the story backward – was annoying and confusing then, annoying and confusing now.

Felt bad for the Firecracker. She’d been looking forward to the show for weeks now.

Her: This is the first time I went to a show and it was a bad.
Me: (shrugging) Well, you gotta expect the occasional dud.
Her: I guess… Did you have a good time?
Me: Of course – we had a night out, I broke my fast, and I got to spend the evening with the prettiest girl in the joint. That’s a win in my book.
Her: (smiles) Aw, Lo…

Location: helping a tenant wrap up his wet garbage in front of the pad
Mood: fat and tired
Music: Put on your best shirt, I can’t miss another night like this (Spotify)
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A Night at the MOMA, DUMBO, and Solas Pt3

Being a world-class jerk

It was a pretty hot night for alla our activities but the Firecracker’s kid and my own were starting school soon, so we figured we’d make the most of our last summer weekend sans kids.

After our tiff at the Time Out Market, we probably were a little more subdued than we woulda preferred but it was what it was.

Leaving DUMBO was a maze; we ended up going several blocks outta our way in the wrong direction before we finally made it back on track.

We finally hopped the train, but it was the wrong one. Still, it meant that we could talk a bit.

Her: You can be a world-class jerk sometimes.
Me: Sorry about that.

We had everything sorted out by the time we got to where we needed to be, though.

It’d been a while since I saw my buddy at his bar; he was one of the first of my friends to ever meet the Firecracker.

It’s always nice catching up with the people there. Kimo, the bouncer, just came back from Egypt.

Her: It’s one of my dreams to visit there.
Him: You two should go there; you’d live like kings.
Me: What about the political climate?
Him: (shrugging) You’d never notice anything was off. You’re tourists; the country lives on tourists. You’ll be fine…

We ordered a few drinks but the Firecracker’s always pretty popular with bartenders, who got her some free drinks.

And, it seems she’s pretty popular with the patrons too – every time I walked away, I came back and some new guy was hitting on her.

Her: I love this place – I feel like a queen!
Me: (grumble)

The bartender poured us a round of tequila shots, which was super nice of him, BUT the Firecracker and tequila didn’t really get along, so I took her shot.

Then my buddy showed up and gave us both big hugs and we caught up.

Me: How are the dating apps treating you?
Him: They keep crashing! I’m fine in real life.
Me: You can do both!

Afterward, he got us a few rounds of shots as well. By the end of the night, I was two sheets to the wind.

We finally started home late – well, late for us, anywho.

Thus ended our summer.

The kids both started school that week but that’s a wholly different entry, entirely.

Location: the kid’s school, waiting on line for him and getting devoured by mosquitoes
Mood: ridonk busy
Music: All night long, went to every bar, underneath the stars (Spotify)
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